I was beginning to think I was going to die alone. Well, maybe not alone. I’m sure I’d have a cat – or five – to keep me company as I lay lonely on my death-bed.
My best friend would tell me I was overreacting. “You’re only twenty-four, Emma. You’ve still got your entire life ahead of you to find them.”
Easy for her to say. She’d already found her soulmate.
The hardest part was, I knew I had one out there too. A soulmate.
I first became aware of it when They broke their arm. How do I know this, you may ask, if I have never even met them?
The answer: I felt it – as sure as I feel my own pain, I felt Their’s. Along with the searing pain in my wrist came a tightening in my chest and an overwhelming sense of panic. Because whoever they were, wherever they were, I loved them. They were hurting and there was nothing I could do to help them.
The day I finally laid eyes on my soulmate was a completely insignificant, summer day. My morning was spent doing laundry and washing day old dishes, and the only reason I left my apartment at all that fateful afternoon was because I was in some dire need of fresh air.
Deciding to take my usual route towards the city park, I set off at a leisurely pace. It was quite a nice day, what with the sun shining and breeze cool. Perhaps that was why there were so many couples about.
It had been a while since I’d felt my soulmates presence, and whilst it was reassuring to know they weren’t in any pain, it was also extremely lonely. At times like this, it made me question their existence entirely. Each couple I saw just seemed to twist the knife of loneliness further into my gut. Every hand-holding, cuddle-kissing, playful-teasing duo made me sick.
Perhaps that’s why I noticed him.
Him. The only person on the entire godforsaken street that seemed to be alone.
The sight of him seemed to trigger a nagging feeling at the back of my mind, as though trying to remember a word on the tip of your tongue. Something about him rooted my feet to the pavement beneath them. To outside eyes, I suppose he may have seemed ordinary. Brown, wind-tousled hair, lanky limbs, and a dull wardrobe of dark grey’s and black. But to my eyes, he was fascinating. He seemed so blissfully unaware of his surroundings, lost in his own little world. I had a sudden and intense yearning to get lost in it with him.
The summer breeze snatched a document from the man’s grasp, finally rousing him from his day dreaming. I couldn’t stop a girlish giggle escaping my lips as I watched him chase after it, the elusive paper remaining out of grasp. I had to wonder as to what important treasures that single slip of paper held that he was going to such length to retrieve it. Jumping from the curb, the man finally managed to trap his prize, triumphant grin forming on his lips.
For a split second as he looked up, our gaze met – then he was gone.
It took another split second to realise the reason why – to see the yellow taxi cab screeching to a halt too late. I didn’t hear the thud as the car came in contact with his body, I didn’t hear anything other than the screams.
I don’t know when I realised they were mine.
Never before had I felt such excruciating agony – agony so severe it left no space for reason or reality. And yet through all the pain, the torment, I was aware of one certainty.
I had found my soul mate.
For twenty-four years I had dreamed of the day I would meet them – that one person who would complete me. I longed to be able to simply get to know them, to find out what their favourite colour was, and how they drink their coffee. No piece of information would be too small. No piece too insignificant.
I got to discover a lot about my soulmate that day.
Like the fact that his name is James.
That his blood type is O positive.
That he has a family who loves him dearly.
That he has a mother who still manages to look beautiful whilst crying.
That he is twenty-four years old, same as me.
That he would never live to see twenty-five.
I will die alone – I’m sure of that now. As sure as the ever-present empty feeling that lodges itself in my chest every time I see two lovers smile at each other. Days begin to feel like years, and the years begin to feel like millenniums, and still I am alone.
I never knew it was possible to miss pain.